Holiday weekend sees reduced beach crowds

In addition, three DUI arrests and two collisions occurred within city limits.

By Olivia Damavandi / Assistant Editor

The Independence Day holiday weekend brought approximately 177,500 visitors to Malibu’s beaches, significantly less than the half a million who flocked to the city’s beaches this same weekend last year.

Despite heightened wave activity, Los Angeles County Lifeguard Captain Brent Katzer said less people went to the beach over this three-day holiday weekend than the last one due to gloomy weather.

“The weather wasn’t as hot and there was no fireworks display off of Broad Beach like in past years,” Katzer said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “But we were still busy.”

City beaches saw a total of 81 minor medical assists, four major medical assists, 16 rescues and four missing people, all of whom were found.

Much of the activity occurred at Zuma Beach, which saw 100,000 visitors, 27 minor medical assists, six rescues and two of the four missing people.

At Surfrider Beach, a warning was issued to a boat that came too close to shore.

The waves over the holiday weekend averaged between five and 12 feet high, and the water temperature was about 63 degrees, Katzer said.

He reminded beachgoers to beware of the uneven ocean floor and strong rip current when the waves are above average size.

Katzer also mentioned concern over a new warning about shark sightings off the coast that was issued last week. None were sighted over the holiday weekend at Malibu beaches.

“Sharks in the water are a sign of a healthy ocean,” Katzer said, suggesting that beachgoers “refrain from swimming where there are a lot of seals or wildlife that sharks feed on.”

Law enforcement officials also kept busy over the holiday weekend.

Sgt. Phil Brooks of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station on Tuesday reported that three DUI arrests were made and two collisions occurred within city limits over the three-day holiday weekend. The reports for the collisions, however, were not available at the time this paper went to press.

Los Angeles County had a total of seven fatal collisions and 322 DUI arrests, Officer Thomas Bomar said Tuesday in a phone interview.

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